The Good Morning® Service (GMS) aims to help every older person in Scotland feel safe, connected and valued.
GMS helps older people retain their independence with a light-touch package of support delivered over the phone in the form of ‘befriending sessions’.
Members receive a call each day at a pre-arranged time, building up a trusting relationship with the GMS staff over time. The calls, provided 365 days a year, are designed to provide practical and emotional support which meets health, social care and safety objectives.
GMS strives to ensure that members receive a continuity of care, proactively keeping track of members who go into hospital and working to coordinate the service with discharge dates.
GMS also offers a safety net alert service – in the event of a call going unanswered, a nominated contact will be alerted. In instances where a member’s safety cannot be verified, Police Scotland will be notified. GMS also double check that health appointments have been attended.
To help prevent instances of burglary, GMS works in partnership with Police Scotland to warn members of criminals believed to be working in specific areas. Warnings are passed on to members, along up-to-date advice on good doorstep management and scam avoidance.
Members get the opportunity to meet and mingle at a social outing each month, while a monthly newsletter keeps members clued up on local services and key NHS articles.
Where GMS are unable to meet a member’s needs, a community directory can signpost services and events, such as NHS classes on managing long-term conditions, community links practitioners and Community Connectors.
Referrals from health and social care partners currently make up 75% of its waiting list.
Both grant funding contracts and service level agreements are entered into with public bodies. GMS can be purchased via Public Contracts Scotland or funded directly where appropriate.
Securing independent grants helps GMS ensure that the investment made by local authorities is returned not just in the positive outcomes for older people and local communities, but in the leverage gained from public spend.
The public can also purchase the support service from 2 up to 7 days a week.
GMS conduct annual internal evaluation in the form of a questionnaire completed by members. The most recent survey to be sent out was returned by 173 members.
The survey indicated that 100% of respondents felt safer at home, felt better connected to their community and felt cared about due to the befriending calls.
A further 99% of respondents experienced reduced feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as an improvement in their overall sense of well-being.
The Good Morning Service appeared as a case study in our Social Prescribing Briefing.